Violence against transgender people

emotional, physical, sexual or verbal violence against transgender persons

Violence against transgender people includes emotional, physical, sexual, or verbal violence. The term has also been applied to hate speech directed at transgender people and at depictions of transgender people in the media that reinforce negative stereotypes about them. Trans and non-binary gender adolescents can experience bashing in the form of bullying and harassment. When compared to their cisgender peers, trans and non-binary gender youth are at increased risk for victimisation, which has been shown to increase their risk of substance abuse.

A 2021 Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial in Radcliffe Square, Oxford.

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  • Trans people are discriminated against, harassed and subjected to violence around the world because of deep prejudices that have been embedded into the fabric of our culture, poisoning our capacity to empathize, and even to accept trans people as fully human.
  • While the media seems all too happy to focus on trans children’s right to participate in activities alongside their peers (or, indeed, on trans children’s very existence), there is little coverage of one of the most pressing problems: the fact that they are significantly more likely to experience discrimination, harassment and violence at home or at school. Sometimes, horrific stories hit local news headlines, such as the trans teenage boy whose face was slashed by a gang of teenagers in Witham, Essex, or the eleven-year-old trans girl in Manchester who, after months of bullying, was shot with a BB gun at school. To date, though, the national media has more or less completely failed to explore the ways in which such egregious incidents form part of a wider pattern of abuse of trans children.
  • In a society that is both patriarchal and capitalist, men’s misogyny towards women sits comfortably alongside their desire to extract women’s sexual labour. This does not change because the woman is trans. In fact, given the political invisibility of most trans women, it may be intensified. To put it plainly, many of the men who purchase the services of trans sex workers will be the same men who argue for the oppression of all trans people and all sex workers. They will be the same men who preach hate and incite violence against them and the same men who, in some cases, personally use physical violence against them. It is no coincidence that trans sex workers are often at the forefront of LGBTQ+ community organizing and activism across the globe, particularly in countries where LGBTQ+ rights are opposed by the state. At times, the two collide.
  • The murders of trans women sex workers are not rare. This is a recurring phenomenon and we regularly try to alert public opinion and the authorities to this violence. Unfortunately, as always, we find ourselves alone.

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